Back That Thing Up (Often)

So, as most of you know, I was down one incredibly expensive computer this past week, which made blogging quite difficult. But thankfully, it is now back, shiny and new with a functioning keyboard and battery.

Except for the fact that most of my files are gone.

Yes, somewhere between last May and right now I decided that it would not be a good idea to back up my files so that I could enjoy them at a later date. So, that means old resumes, cover letters, new drafts of an old book, and a few writings are completely gone. A huge price to pay for a new keyboard and battery (plus the astronomical price I actually paid for repairs).

And I can’t lie. The panic set in when I realized it. I couldn’t believe that I had thought my files were safe enough and that I could resist backing up my current progress. Like many millenials, most of my life is on a computer. Pictures, old assignments, senior thesis, music, all on one fallible device. You feel helpless when you find that it is all gone, your presence in the world wiped clean. And then something absolutely selfish crept in, convincing me that my outrage for not keeping a recent backup of precious documents somehow mattered in the great scheme of the universe. People are dying all over the world but me? I have to rewrite my resume. Boo hoo.

Well, you can sense my outrage over my own outrage.

Because it’s incredibly frustrating to lose all of your progress, but it isn’t life threatening. To discuss one of my favorite books of all time, You’re a Badass, Jen Sincero spends time talking about failure and how to cope with it. One of the stories that stuck with me was from a friend of hers. Her friend had worked hard to create her own recording studio, buying all of the equipment out of her own pocket. Only a few days after the construction was complete, the entire studio was engulfed in flames. That’s right, her brand new recording studio gone. Do you know what she did? She didn’t tear her hair out. She didn’t cry over the ashes of her headphones and mixers. She simply built another one, a more state-of-the-art one. And she created mad, sick beats.

And that’s how you need to approach each setback and failure. You should never think that when you are made to start over that you should stop altogether. Just the opposite. You should begin again and try even harder. Me? I’m ready to rewrite the drafts I had (from scratch) because now I don’t have to be hampered by what could have been. I don’t have to edit what’s there. I can start completely over and create something great.

So, do me a favor. Do not view any step back as a failure. See it as a chance to start again, fresher and better each time.

Oh, and back up all of your stuff. Like now. Seriously. Save your future self so much frustration. I’m not kidding. Go.

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